The first four Interaction conferences were real treats for foodies. Every reception/party had enough food to make a meal of. The selected caterers provided a wide variety of cuisines plated with artistic flair. I remember a dessert table in 2009 that ran the width of the hotel ballroom. I remember shucking oysters in 2010. I remember eating an orchid in 2008, and there was the street vendor outside the Boulder Theater in 2011.
The conference food in Dublin was mostly forgettable. The food served during the closing party at the Guinness Storehouse was fantastic, but there wasn’t a lot of it. Interaction 13 was worse. The happy hours had nothing to munch on, and the appetizers at the parties, while tasty, were not meal-worthy.
The lunches were beyond lame. Each day gave us progressively less meat. In fact, the only meat on day three was some crumbled bacon you could put on your salad. The main course was macaroni and cheese. They made a big deal of the fact that we were not to visit the vegetarian table if we did not request it when we registered, and I really questioned whether I was at the right table. The only explanation I can think of is that a vegetarian planned the menu.
The one positive was that when I checked in at the Radisson, I was issued coupons for free breakfasts (tip included) every morning for myself and my wife. That was a great start to the morning, and it was the most protein I got a couple days.
I guess we were spoiled the first few years while the conference was small. Now it has grown to the point that a conference center is required to fit everyone, and conference centers require that you use their own catering. Here’s hoping that Amsterdam has more to offer.